The birthplace of modern pearl cultivation where women dive for pearls
Tourists visiting the Toba Aquarium should set aside time for a visit to Mikimoto Pearl Island. This island is the birthplace of modern pearl cultivation, and visitors will have the opportunity to see stunning examples of both the glowing little orbs and the jewelry made with them.
Mikimoto Pearl Island is home to a museum where visitors can view elaborate pearl ornamentation. The museum showcases a wide range of pearl jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. The intricate designs and craftsmanship of the jewelry are truly impressive, and visitors will gain a deeper appreciation for the art of pearl cultivation.
One of the most unique aspects of Mikimoto Pearl Island is the traditional pearl oyster diving performed by women. Throughout the day, these women practice the ancient art of pearl diving without the use of scuba gear. They dive to the oyster beds on the bottom of the bay, carefully harvesting the precious pearls. This physically demanding work requires skill, strength, and bravery, and witnessing the demonstration is a truly remarkable experience.
The history of pearl cultivation on Mikimoto Pearl Island dates back to 1893 when Kokichi Mikimoto made a groundbreaking discovery. Kokichi, who sold marine products and ran an udon shop in his hometown of Toba, discovered a way to culture pearls. He set up a pearl farm in Ago Bay and started cultivating pearls in earnest. His business quickly expanded to include overseas sales, and he achieved great success. Today, pearls are still an important part of the local community, and Mikimoto Pearl Island continues to be at the forefront of the pearl industry.
To reach Mikimoto Pearl Island, visitors can take a JR train to Toba Station on the Sangu Line. From Nagoya Station, the Kintetsu Limited Express takes approximately 95 minutes, while the JR Rapid Express Mie takes around 100 minutes. From Osaka-Namba or Kyoto stations, Kintetsu will bring you to Toba Station in a little over two hours. Once at Toba Station, a brief walk will take you to the bridge connecting the shore with the island.
Upon arrival at Mikimoto Pearl Island, visitors will be greeted by the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings. The island is surrounded by pristine waters and lush greenery, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. It is the perfect setting to appreciate the natural beauty of pearls and gain a deeper understanding of their cultural significance.
Inside the museum, visitors will find information provided in English, making it accessible to international guests. The museum is divided into two main sections. The first section showcases a wide variety of pearl jewelry, ranging from classic designs to more contemporary styles. The second section features works of art fashioned from pearl, including sculptures, paintings, and decorative objects. The level of detail and craftsmanship in these pieces is truly remarkable.
For those interested in purchasing pearl jewelry, there is a gift shop on the island. The shop offers a wide selection of pearl jewelry, allowing visitors to take home a piece of this unique and timeless art form. Whether you’re looking for a classic pearl necklace or a more modern and unique piece, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
It’s important to note that the information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended to check for any updates or restrictions before planning your visit to Mikimoto Pearl Island.
In conclusion, Mikimoto Pearl Island is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in pearls and the art of pearl cultivation. The island’s rich history, stunning jewelry, and traditional pearl diving demonstrations make it a truly unique and memorable experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a jewelry lover, or simply looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to visit, Mikimoto Pearl Island has something to offer. So, make sure to set aside time during your visit to the Toba Aquarium to explore this fascinating island and immerse yourself in the world of pearls.
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